Wimbledon’s first Trivia Pub Trail in aid of stem4

Love Wimbledon and stem4 were proud to present Wimbledon’s first charity Trivia Pub Trail held on 21st March.  An evening of pub stops, interactive questions and challenges around Wimbledon Town Centre – all through their mobile phones.

14 teams from local businesses went head to head taking on the trivia trail, enjoying the hospitality of 6 local pubs, climbing the live scoreboard and raising £440 for stem4 the Wimbledon based teenage mental health charity.

Dr Nihara Krause, Founder and CEO of stem4 commented, “We are delighted to be the recipients of the quiz trail organised by Love Wimbledon. As a small, local charity, we value being supported by the corporate community in Wimbledon and would like to thank Love Wimbledon and everyone who took part in this very enjoyable event. stem4 provide  a valuable service through our mental health education programme for children and young people, their families and teachers and the provision of digital tools to help teenagers challenge the onset of mental health problems and build resilience so that they can go on to live happy and fulfilling lives.”

Katie Owen from Love Wimbledon, Sarah Sterne and Rebecca Gibson from stem4, Sally Warren from Love Wimbledon













A great night was had by all who played and when asked what the teams enjoyed most about our Trivia Pub Trail they answered:

“the brilliant sense of community, bonding with colleagues and supporting stem4 and Love Wimbledon”

“experiencing the bars or Wimbledon and raising money for a good cause”

“spending time with work colleagues”

“discovering the amazing pub venues”


Congratulations to our winning team from local business Datix, they won themselves a £100 gift card from Sticks’n’Sushi Wimbledon to enjoy a meal.

Datix teams (L-R) Iwona McCarthy, Luke Snelling, Polly Kirk, Fern Berreen, Jess Money, Matthew Brew.

The runners up team was from Sew White who will enjoy a £50 bar tab from Smash Wimbledon while they enjoy ping-pong and pizzas!

Sew White team (L-R): Sisley White, Katie Owen from Love Wimbledon, Rebecca Reading.

Special thanks to our generous pubs who hosted hotspots including: Bar+Block Steakhouse, Smash Wimbledon, The Old Frizzle, The Garratt & Gauge, The Alexandra and 601 Queen’s Rd.


Take a look at some of the photos on our Facebook page to see how much fun they had for yourself and we hope to see you at our future business events.



Culture in London is Now Mapped

The Cultural Infrastructure Plan, launched by the Mayor of London, is an initiative to support and grow cultural spaces in the capital for generations to come.

There is also a plan that goes with it to:

-Understanding where London’s cultural infrastructure is located

-Planning for and creating new cultural infrastructure

-Providing major infrastructure for a world class city

-Supporting culture at risk

-Increasing investment

-Creating policy to enable culture and the creative industries to put down roots

-Providing training, networking and guidance

Within the campaign is a new Cultural Infrastructure Map, showcasing over 25K entries and bringing London’s cultural landscape to life. We have added all of our cultural, pub and late night venues to this map (submitted and waiting for inclusion) and members of the public and venue operators can add to it here.

London sealed its reputation as a world leader for art and design teaching with the Royal College of Art and University of the Arts London securing first and second place respectively in the QS University World Rankings out of 200 of the world’s top universities. Love Wimbledon work alongside the Wimbledon College of Art and local graduates for our arts market, installations around town and campaigns to celebrate local talent and we look forward to this continued relationship.

Pink Tree Installation by Wimbledon College of Art Graduate, 2014.

Local Businesses Helping Local Charities

A big thanks to Wimbledon Nando’s staff who recently helped out at the Faith in Action Drop In Centre on Kingston Road by cooking food, cleaning up the store room, packing donation parcels and generally lending a helping hand where needed. This great community spirit is in addition to them already donating food to Faith in Action on a regular basis. All the staff enjoyed the experience and are arranging to assist again very soon. Another Wimbledon town centre business helping this local charity was TK Maxx who donated two pallets of clothes to Faith in Action and are looking to donate more on a regular basis.




The Alexandra continued this community theme by hosting a party to thank all the amazing volunteers that gave their time for the Merton winter Night Shelter 2018. Giving food, shelter and support to homeless people every night for seven weeks they really are the unsung heroes. Sarah and Mick laid on drinks and food which was very much enjoyed by all the volunteers and a great evening was had by all.

Nicki Zisman, YMCA Wimbledon, commented, “The Alexandra Pub not only provided the evening meal at St Mark’s on a couple of evenings for our guests in the first block, but also hosted our shelter celebration again this year to thank our fabulous volunteers. It was a lovely opportunity to come together socially in such a wonderful setting and feed back a little of the success of this year’s shelter run. For Krysia, Magdalena and I, it was a rare opportunity to meet many of our unsung volunteer heroes who cover the night shifts, early morning breakfast shifts and schlep the luggage from venue to venue, and a chance to say a big thank you to all.”

(L-R) Helen Clark Bell, Mick Dore, Nicki Zisman, Sarah Dore, Kevin Gallagher

Great to see local businesses assisting local charities, thank you to all our businesses for your donation of time and much needed items to help our local charities in the vital work they do for the local community.

If your business wishes to assist local charities, in any form, please contact Kevin Gallagher, Love Wimbledon Operations Manager, keving@lovewimbledon.org.

Spring Update from CEO Helen

As the clocks go forward and the trees are in full blossom, the ‘feel good factor’ of spring is alive and well in Wimbledon. We welcomed three new businesses in the last month, Lebanese cuisine, Kababji and a LGBTQ bar, CMYK – both Wimbledon firsts, along with Card Factory that has opened in Centre Court. Independent pet shop and dog groomers Creature Company re-opened its doors after a major refurbishment.


Merton Council has just released a consultation about a significant increase in parking charges across Merton, but particularly Wimbledon. Please be sure to have your say here. An update on Play Wimbledon, Merton Council have shared plans for the redesign of the Russell Road junction outside New Wimbledon Theatre and St Mark’s Place. We would be very interested to hear your views to inform the next design.  See the Revised proposal PLAY WIMBLEDON.


It seems to be award season and we are so proud that many of our businesses are being recognised for being top in their industry. Congratulations to:

Sticks’n’Sushi who have been named the UK’s fastest-growing restaurant group by AlixPartners Growth Company Index.

Envoy Digital who have won the UK eCommerce Agency of the Year 2019 Award.

Darwin & Wallace, owners of 601 Queen’s Rd, won Best Sustainable Pub Company 2019 at The Publican Awards.

Pushfor were named FinTECHTalent of the week.


The Time & Leisure Food & Culture Awards and Merton Best Business Awards have been launched and we would encourage every business to consider applying for these local business awards. Love Wimbledon is the proud sponsor of a new category in the MBBAs – Positive Workplace – your chance to shout about how wonderful your business is to work for.

Time & Leisure Food and Culture Awards 2019

Back for the ninth year, Time & Leisure’s Food and Culture Awards 2019 are LIVE!

Set up to support local businesses, these awards seek out consumer opinions and shine a light on the best in the region. They create conversations amongst consumers of where to try, discover new experiences and encourage people to support their local establishments and high streets.

Love Wimbledon has been a sponsor and supporter of these awards since they started as a way to shout about all our great eateries and cultural venues. Once again this year we are proud to sponsor the BEST EATING EXPERIENCE IN WIMBLEDON TOWN CENTRE and shout very loudly about how great you all are.

If you are a Wimbledon town centre food producer, cafe, pub, restaurant or foodie market stall holder YOUR business has already been nominated in the above category – all YOU have to do is shout about it, promote it through your marketing channels and tell all your customers to vote for you, it’s FREE plus they stand a chance of winning a luxury weekend away.

Here is the VOTING page for you to share.

There are many other categories which you may have been nominated for across Food and Culture including:

Best Family Friendly Restaurant 

Best Newcomer

Best Service

Best Night Out

Best Coffee/Tea House

Restaurant of the Year

Best Pub

Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year

Tony Kane Cultural Experience

Performing Arts Venue of the Year

Family Attraction of the Year








All you have to do is get your customers voting for you, promote the awards across your social media channels and if you’d like FREE promotional material to put up in your business please email info@lovewimbledon.org and we will deliver these to you.

Wimbledon businesses did incredibly well in the #TLFCA awards last year, here’s a reminder of the 2018 winners.

Voting is now OPEN and the results will be announced at The Hurlingham Club on 9th September. More details to follow about this event and how you can be there.


New Lebanese restaurant Kababji opens in Wimbledon

Authentic Lebanese grill house, Kababji, has invested over half a million in their first UK premises, and selected Wimbledon Town Centre as their new home.


Opened on 25 March 2019, the new outlet on The Broadway, offers 210 square metres of both takeaway and sit-down dining. With 26 established restaurants already located in the Middle East, the team at Kababji have created 20 new jobs for local residents. Each member of staff has been given multi-skilled training, giving them the chance to follow a rotation of roles within the business from working in the kitchen to front of house.


The restaurant features sleek, contemporary décor, an impressive grill centrepiece and latest technology for customer convenience. Integrated kiosks allow customers to order and track the progress of their food via screens and an app will allow consumers to order food direct to their table with the tap of a tablet screen. Kababji also plan to launch a loyalty scheme, also available on the app, to give regular customers the chance to redeem complimentary food and seasonal offers.


The team behind Kababji UK have a combined 65 years’ experience in the restaurant industry, across the world, including working with brands such as Henry J. Bean’s, YO! Sushi and Tortilla.


Ziad Joumblat, Kababji UK Managing Director, said: “Wimbledon is the perfect location for our first UK restaurant, it’s an urban village with a wonderful mix of cultures amongst the residents. Our research showed that locals were both food conscious; looking for healthy choices and vegetarian options, and tech savvy, with many organising their lives on their phones. Our restaurant food and service will appeal to families and couples alike, and we look forward to welcoming our neighbours to try out the fantastic flavours of Lebanese food.”


Taking inspiration from Lebanese street food and Mediterranean favourites, Kababji has created a new era of the wrap, focusing on freshly grilled skewers, dips and salads, with everything prepared fresh each morning to create the delicious, authentic Lebanese taste.


The Wimbledon menu, which is 40% vegetarian, features dishes such as aubergine grill, falafel and halloumi in main dishes and sharing platters. Kababji also make their own hummus, fresh every morning using a secret blend of patented herbs and spices, as well as tahini shipped over from Lebanon.

Find them at 80 The Broadway, SW19 1RH

Follow them on Facebook and Instagram 

Merton Best Business Awards 2019 – Open for Entries

The 13th March saw the launch of the 2019 Merton Best Business Awards – which celebrates excellence, innovation and best practice within the borough.  A whole host of guests gathered to hear from past winners, including Ryan O’Sullivan and Sarah Quartermaine from RyGas Ltd who won Overall Merton Best Business and Best Service Excellence, as well as award judges, local businesses and proud sponsors of the programme.

Headline sponsors WSM Business Advisory are once again supporting the Awards. “Merton is chock-full of surprising businesses and talented people finding opportunities in the most unlikely of places and the enterprise and skill to develop them,” says WSM’s Amanda Menassa. “It is WSM’s pleasure to be the headline sponsor of this amazing pool of talent for the seventh consecutive year. The Merton Best Business Awards remains the premier showcase in London providing the opportunity for these businesses and the individuals to show off their talents and allowing us all to celebrate their achievements”.


What are the categories?
There are several new categories in the Merton Best Business Awards this year including Best Large Business for those with over 100 employees and a Top Woman in Business Award. Overall, there are 16 categories including three public votes and two special awards. Entry is FREE. See the full category list.

Love Wimbledon will once again be sponsoring a category and this year we’re proud to lead with the new Positive Workplace Award for businesses in the borough going above and beyond to ensure their employees experience a culture that provides a workplace that supports wellbeing and the environment. Find out more.

Public Vote Categories include: Best Customer Service | Best Restaurant of the Year | Best Pub of the Year so if these apply to your business then please share the links with your customers and make sure they vote for you.

Diana Sterk, CEO Merton Chamber of Commerce with Helen Clark Bell, CEO Love Wimbledon

Guide to entering…If you’re thinking of entering the Merton Best Business Awards 2019, Simon Marsh, Partner at WSM has some helpful tips to really make you and your business stand out from the crowd…

What’s in it for you?

Know what you hope to get from entering the awards – apart from winning!

Awards are a brilliant way to market to existing and potential customers, to raise the profile of the business with the benefits from the promotion and networking opportunities that brings as well as being a great way for your staff to see how good the business really is… and, of course, for all the finalists there is a great night of celebration at the All England Club – home of world champions!

Who are your shining stars?
You know your business has achieved great things and could enter any one of the many awards categories.

However, within every organisation there are shining stars which provide a great basis for entering the awards. So find those brilliant examples which make your business achievements really shine.

Prove it
To make it to the shortlist you not only have to tell the story but also provide the evidence of your achievements. This can be quantitative – numbers never lie – or qualitative – testimonials from your biggest and best customers not only support your entry but remind your customers how good you are and they will be pleased to have been asked.

Bring your story to life
It remains true that a picture paints a thousand words, and photos can also help your entry stand out and describe the story of your achievements. To be really impactful photos must be memorable, interesting and above all, relevant.

Be honest
The judges will be able to spot embellishments in a story – so be truthful!

For information on how to enter go to www.mertonbestbusiness.co.uk

CEO Update from Helen

Like many of you we were very sorry to see HMV close but would like to reassure you that HMV Curzon remains open. Meanwhile Premier Inn and Bar + Block opened and with 3 other new foodie options opening soon along with a new club, Wimbledon remains a strong town centre. A government committee report was published on 21st February entitled High Streets and town centres in 2030, which we contributed to, making recommendations for how town centres need to adapt to maintain their vitality and importance to the community. We are delighted to see the value of BIDs being highlighted as being integral to the development of high streets and town centres.

Read the full report

Where will the high street be in 2030

The summary of the report is that they believe that “high streets and town centres can survive and thrive by 2030…as activity based community gathering places ….” The committee is calling for a reduction in business rates for retailers in high streets and town centres and encourage Government to assess their proposals of a sales tax, an increase in VAT, an online sales tax and green taxes on deliveries and packaging, providing fast relief to high street retailers.


Alongside this report there is currently a Treasury Committee inquiry into the impact of business rates that I would encourage you to respond to. The closing date for submissions is 2nd April 2019. Respond to the inquiry here.